New York Construction News has selected the restoration of the Queensboro Bridge and development of Bridgemarket as the 2001 Rehabilitation Project of the Year in its Best of 2001 Awards Program.
The award recognizes the contributions of key development team members and innovative solutions to a project’s challenges. Graciano, masonry contractor for this massive project, and others involved, will be honored at the awards ceremony in New York, where the project will be showcased. The trade publication will also feature the Queensboro Bridge project in its December issue.
Last year, the same project earned Graciano the 2000 BAC Craft Award for Best Restoration Project, presented by the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.
Restoration of the area underneath the bridge included what is considered to be the first-ever rebuilding of Guastavino vaults—and one of the largest terra cotta repair and restoration projects in the world. In total, the project required over 3,600 terra cotta tiles, 1,728 trim borders and 3,290 ornate field pieces.
The 98,000-square-foot area was designed in 1914 by Henry Hornbostel for use as an open-air market. A historic landmark, this cathedral-like space was restored, after more than a half a century of neglect, to its original use as a public marketplace—the now-thriving Bridgemarket.
Graciano restoration specialists cleaned stone, repaired surface cracks, pointed granite masonry, and rebuilt entire tile vaults, using historical methods of cross-bonded tile built on wooden centers. Mortar joints were removed and new pointing was done to match in terms of color and raised joint tooling. Vaults were waterproofed at the top surface, and cracks were repaired. Terra cotta tiles were cleaned, repaired and replaced. New tiles from Boston Valley Terra Cotta were kiln fired and color matched to the originals, based upon Graciano’s exacting standards. Finally, Graciano technicians used advanced waterproofing systems and epoxy injection to protect the structure from further deterioration.